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Basket Case

by Carl Hiaasen

Carl Hiaasen turns his acerbic wit onto the world of journalism and newspaper owners. Jack Tagger is an obituary writer obsessed with three things: his editor Emma, his own mortality and the death of rock star Jimmy Stomarti. Was 'Jimmy Stoma' murdered? Jack determines to find out in a typical Hiassen mix of unlikely characters and bizarre events. For me not as hilarious as earlier Hiaasen novels but funny all the same.

Extract

Shortly after Anne moved out, I falsely promised my mother I would consult a shrink. I lifted the name 'Polson' from a Montana road map, and awarded my fictitious psychiatrist an array of lofty credentials from Geneva, Hamburg and Bellevue. I pretended to attend two private sessions a month, and in bogus updates I assured my mother that the man was brilliant, and that he regarded my lightning progress as phenomenol.
'I would gladly go back to Dr. Polson,' I tell her, 'If he wasn't lying in ICU at Broward General.'
'What?'
'The details are sketchy, but evidently a deranged patient assaulted him with an industrial garlic press. It's very tragic.'

A familiar frostiness creeps into my mother's voice.
'I wish you could hear yourself from where I sit. Surely there's someone you can talk, someone who could help ....'
'There is someone,' I say 'You, Mom. You could tell me what happened to my father.'

Parallels

Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen
Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey
 

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